Welcome to our back-to-back workshops!

We’re now just a few days away from hosting our back-to-back workshops: “Patents as Capital” and “Patents in the Service of War and Peace.” “Patents as Capital,” was originally scheduled to take place at the Nobel Museum in September 2020, but of course this proved impossible because of the Covid-19 pandemic. So, we had to postpone, and then postpone again. And while the ERC have granted PASSIM an extension that will enable us to do what we initially promised to do, there came a point when the third workshop “Patents in the Service of War and Peace,” also needed to take place. Time between the two seemed to shrink with alarming speed. That’s when we decided to do them back-to-back (on our home turf in Norrköping) and give our participants the opportunity to take part in one or both workshops. On Wednesday, May 11, we begin! And after two years of hybrid events and zoom-seminars, we’re actually back doing everything IRL – in the room. It feels enormously gratifying to meet everybody face to face, to be able to organize a social program and to kick-start, in a weird sort of way, our final year in the project.

PASSIMer of the month (Mattis)

Mattis Karlsson is PASSIM’s research assistant and a much recent PhD at the Department of Culture and Society, and he is also our most recent PASSIMer of the month.

I defended my PhD thesis just recently. Therefore, this seems an appropriate moment to look back on my time as a PhD student and, of course, the important role that PASSIM has had in it.

When I was first enrolled as a PhD student at Linköping University in 2015 I was placed under the supervision of PASSIM PI, professor Eva Hemmungs Wirtén. At the time PASSIM was still in its most early stages. When in October 2015 Eva organised a workshop at the impressive Mundaneum in Mons Belgium, she kindly asked me to join. The workshop would function as a brainstorm, Eva would present the project (to be) for a carefully selected group of people and gather their input and discusses their potential roles in the project. And so, at this workshop I was introduced to a group of skilled scholars and sharp intellectuals, but more importantly, genuinely nice people. As a part of PASSIM I would come to work closely with some of these scholars, and throughout my time as a PhD student the project PASSIM and the people within it has meant a great deal. While my own research has not formally been a part of PASSIM, it is hard to imagine what it would look like had I not been involved in the project.

PASSIM has been immensely stimulating from an intellectual point of view, however it has also been a practical learning experience because of all the hands-on chores that a large and international project involves. In my role as research assistant, I have booked hotel rooms and restaurants, flights, and trains. I have organised symposiums and workshops, read and assessed abstracts and proposals, as well as managed the project project’s external communications, such as the websites, social media, blog, streams and video content. But, PASSIM has also helped me broaden my own research horizons. Last year I presented a paper at the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) annual meeting. The paper explored the use of patents as (mis)information by flat earth agitators. It was the first time that patents featured in my own work, but I hardly think it will be the last. My thesis From Fossil to Fact: The Denisova Discovery as Science in Action concerns the 2010 discovery of the Denisovans, a previously unknown type of humans discovered through the mapping of ancient DNA. The thesis deals with the Denisova discovery as a case of science in the making, and illustrates how the Denisova human was made, and made to fit the major paradigms and narratives of ancient DNA and evolutionary science. The thesis actualises questions about social influence in science, problematising imaginaries of science/non-science divides, and highlights how the authority of genetic science is subject to and dependent on dramatisation.

Having now finished my PhD and returned fully to the service of PASSIM I am helping to organise our two upcoming workshops, ”Patents as Capital” and “Patents in the Service of War and Peace”, both to be held in Norrköping in May this year. And suitably, in April next year we plan to go back to Mundaneum, it will be a moment of full circle for PASSIM, and for me.


Mattis Karlsson and Gustav Källstrand making

Mattis Karlsson and Gustav Källstrand.

Mattis Karlsson’s PhD thesis From Fossil to Fact

Call for papers: 2022 Symposium on Contemporary Issues in Global Studies: ‘Intellectual Property, Technology, Culture and Health’

Deadline extended to April 30!

We invite contributions to the 2022 Symposium on Contemporary Issues in Global Studies, a collaborative project between the department of Culture and Society at Linköping University and the project PASSIM.

Dates: September 12-13, 2022

Venue: Arbetets Museum, Norrköping, Sweden

Call Closes: April 30, 2022

Proposal format: 500-word abstract/200-word bio

Submit to: GlobalStudies@liu.se

Questions? Contact: marc.stuhldreier@liu.se



The 2022 (Inaugural) Symposium on Contemporary Issues in Global Studies aims at bringing together researchers from different scientific perspectives to present and discuss their research with an interdisciplinary audience. The symposium welcomes papers with a connection to contemporary global issues, focussed on one or more of this year’s selected fields of interest in ‘intellectual property, technology, culture, or health’. The symposium particularly aims to explore the interrelatedness between the chosen fields. Potential submissions thus can address, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  • Intellectual property and global health
  • Culture and global health
  • Technology, artificial intelligence, intellectual property, and culture
  • Technology, artificial intelligence, and public health
  • Traditional knowledge, technology, and well-being
  • Indigenous populations, marginalised groups, poverty, and access to (health) technology

Submissions are invited from researchers of all levels, including PhD students, early-career researchers, and senior scholars as well as members of professional organisations and NGOs. We are particularly encouraging contributions offering interdisciplinary perspectives. Successful candidates are kindly asked to submit a working draft of their paper by 22 August 2022 and can expect to present their research in a stimulating and generous milieu. The symposium features a Keynote Address by Prof. Graham Dutfield (Leeds University) as well as two workshops held by invited international experts in their fields.


PASSIM (Patents as Scientific Information, 1895–2020) is a five-year (2017–2022) project funded by an ERC Advanced Investigator Grant to Professor Eva Hemmungs Wirtén, Linköping University, Sweden. PASSIM focuses on the “openness” aspect of patents, considering their role as technoscientific documents in the history of information and intellectual property. For more information, send us an e-mail: contact@passim.se, follow us on twitter @passimproject or visit our website www.passim.se.

PASSIMer of the month (Gustav)

PASSIMer of the month is Gustav Källstrand. Gustav has been a part of PASSIM since the very beginning and that first trip to Mundaneum in Mons. 

My main research interest is the cultural history of science, that is, how we ascribe meaning to scientific ideas and legitimacy to scientific institutions (and to the institution of science itself). Early on in my career I started looking at the Nobel Prize, since it is perhaps the most visible and prestigious cultural symbol of science, and have been so almost since its creation 120 years ago.

I work at the Nobel Prize Museum in Stockholm, an institution devoted to both conduct public outreach activities (exhibitions, lectures et c) about the prize, the laureates, and their work and to investigating the history of the prize. Earlier this year, I published a comprehensive study of the prize’s history during its first three decades, a period I consider to be formative both for the internal organization of the institution and for its relationship with the press. The book is in Swedish, but I have also published papers based on the underlying research – for example about the Nobel laureates as scientific celebrities.

In PASSIM, I work on a project looking at how the early Nobel committees in physics and chemistry valued practical usefulness when evaluating candidates for the prize. The founding document for the prize, the will of inventor Alfred Nobel, states that it should be awarded to those who had conferred the ”greatest benefit to humankind”. What I have been doing in the PASSIM project is to look at how this “benefit” was defined, especially with regards to the possible use of patents as documents to support candidates.

Working with the PASSIM-team is a great experience. Coming from a background in history of science, the perspective of patents and intellectual property more broadly has certainly made me think in new (for me) ways about how scientific ideas evolve and how legitimacy and recognition is bestowed on people. We always have great discussions, largely due to Eva’s social genius – she places us in great settings, both physically and intellectually, and makes it easy to think, discuss and raise questions. It also creates a sense of community, trust and working together towards a common goal.

PASSIMer of the month (Marc)

Marc Stuhldreier is a new addition to the PASSIM team, and as of this fall Postdoctoral Fellow in Culture and Society at Linköping University, he is also our PASSIMer of the month.

I come an academic background in business law and human rights, my research interest lies in analysing international patent rights, addressing their flaws and supporting the creation of a patent system that is fair and just for all stakeholders. To this end, I seek to account for the different needs of countries and populations at different stages of development. Additionally, my planned research aims for a re-balancing of the incentivisation system which should be based on needs rather than being cantered around purely monetary considerations. I am further interested in scientific and technological advancements and their implications on and interrelation with the field of IP and patent rights as well as issues concerning data protection and privacy.

Currently, I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in Culture and Society at Linköping University, and I joined the PASSIM project as its latest member. Prior to this, I conducted PhD studies at Northumbria University Newcastle, where I analysed pharmaceutical patent rights and their detrimental impacts on the accessibility of medicines and the human right to health. A key theme of my thesis was the identification of responsibilities of private corporations towards the realisation of human rights. A further interest I developed throughout my studies lies in the subject of data privacy in the context of technological advancements. After finishing my PhD, I decided to gather professional experiences as a data protection officer before joining Linköping University and PASSIM to continue my research in the field of patents and technology as a Postdoc.

My PASSIM research project now focusses on the efficacy of the research incentives provided by patent rights. The planned activity is divided into two sub-categories and research questions. The first question addresses the efficacy of patents for incentivising research into highly required innovations, such as new medicines, where the resulting products do not necessarily offer a high profitability (e.g. orphan drugs or neglected diseases). The second part of my planned research focusses on leaks of scientific information and research data, and its impacts on the novelty requirement for patenting innovations. This part of the analysis shall identify whether and when the theft and unlawful disclosure of scientific information can jeopardise the patentability of new inventions.

I am quite excited to be a part of the wonderful PASSIM team, and I am looking forward to adding my two cents to this ECR funded project.